Customs and Traditions in Times of Death and Bereavement (3rd Edition)

This booklet provides general information on bereavement & funeral customs in different religions & cultures, including: the Blackfoot Confederacy, Buddhism, China, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Eastern Orthodox, Hinduism, Hutterite, Muslim, Jehovah Witness, Judaism, Mennonite, Protestant, Roman Catholic, & Sikhism. A glossary defines a number of terms associated with bereavement & funerals.

Surviving Suicide

This article describes a bereavement support group for Jewish survivors of suicide.

Suicide at the end of the Third Reich

The author discusses suicides which occurred in Germany at the end of World War II. He states the motivations of individuals dying by suicide were various & multi-faceted but what they had in common was a general feeling of insecurity & the lack of a future perspective. This article focuses on contemporary representations of suicide […]

Political Integration, war and Suicide: the Dutch Paradox?

Contrary to Durkheim’s theory of suicide during wartime, the Netherlands had high suicide rates in 1940 & 1945. To explain these findings, the authors propose the social integration theory, according to which, people who expect to be excluded from society are more likely to die by suicide. This idea is examined using individual-level data on […]

Suicides of German Jews in the Third Reich

This article re-examines Jewish responses towards Nazi racism by studying suicides among German Jews. The author’s purpose is two-fold: first, asking what motivated these suicides & secondly, how far, if at all, Jewish suicides can be considered a form of resistance towards Nazism & to what extent they were acts of despair & hopelessness. (129 […]

Sovereignty, Stewardship, and the Self: Religious Perspectives on Euthanasia (IN: Euthanasia: the Good of the Patient, the Good of Society, ed. by R I Misbin)


Jewish Adolescent Suicide Prevention Programs

Published in “Back to the Future: Refocusing the Image of Suicide,” ed. by J L McIntosh

Cross-Cultural Attitudes Towards Suicide: the SOQ and a Personal Odyssey

This paper reviews the development of the Suicide Opinion Questionnaire (SOQ) & its application to cross-cultural contexts. The author argues that in spite of some inherent problems, the SOQ remains relevant to further research in this area. (27 refs)

“Who Shall Live…” A Report From the CCAR Task Force on Assisted Suicide

“I Wish he had Died in the war”: Suicide Survivors – the Israeli Case

An earlier version of this article was published in Omega, v.46, no.4, (2002-2003).

Preventing Youth Suicide

Questions and Answers About Jewish Tradition and the Issues of Assisted Death

This document is intended to be used both as a teaching tool for & an aid to dialogue & discussion about physician-assisted suicide (PAS) & voluntary active euthanasia (VAE) in the context of Judaism. It presents an overview of how Jewish tradition & contemporary Jewish thought look at the issues of PAS & VAE. The […]

Jewish law Perspectives on Suicide and Physician-Assisted Suicide

This article explores the problem of physician-assisted death in the context of Jewish law. Part 1 addresses Jewish perspectives on living as a background to understanding Jewish law’s rules about dying. Part 2 identifies the essential Jewish law rules proscribing the taking, & prescribing the preservation, of life. Part 3 focuses on Jewish law doctrines […]

The Obligation to Heal and Patient Autonomy in Jewish law

Part 1 of this article deals with the tension between Divine & human healing in the Bible & the Talmud. Part 2 focuses on the halakhic status of medical practice &, in particular, the question of whether or not it constitutes the fulfillment of an independent halakhic obligation (mitzvah) in Jewish life. Part 3 is […]

Jewish Perspectives on Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia

This article consists of portions of an incomplete manuscript & references for further exploration on the problem of assisted suicide & euthanasia in a Jewish context. Topics addressed include suffering; suicide & murder in the Jewish tradition; patient’s rights & living wills; the definition of “being alive”; & duties regarding medical & general ethics.

Book Review-A Philosophy of Hope: an Antidote to the Suicidal Pathology of Western Civilization by K J Kaplan and M B Schwartz

The author reviews “A Philosophy of Hope: an Antidote to the Suicidal Pathology of Western Civilization,” by K Kaplan & M Schwartz, in which they attempt to trace the Greco-Roman view of death by suicide, & argue that the Jewish Biblical world view offers a solution for suicide prevention. The current author finds that regardless […]

The Emigration of Germany’s Jewish Dermatologists in the Period of National Socialism


The Missing Pieces of the Puzzle: a Reflection on the odd Career of Viktor Frankl

For commentary on this article by K Biller, J I Levinson, & T Pytell, please see SIEC #2005-0331

The Right to die: a Halachic Approach

This article represents a Jewish contribution to the “right-to-die” debate that currently characterizes medical ethics, & explores whether Judaism recognizes a right to die. 4 major Jewish assumptions regarding the nature of life & death form the foundation of the author’s argument that Judaism rejects a right to die & supports the prolonging of life […]

Physician-Assisted Suicide: a Halachic Approach

This article is the author’s response to the question: Does Judaism ever sanction suicide & may a physician or any other third party facilitate this process? The author argues that taking one’s life is considered to be morally wrong in Judaism, & that the preservation of life is regarded as a cardinal value in Jewish […]

Physician-Assisted Suicide Under Jewish law

This article endeavors to analyze physician-assisted suicide through the prism of Jewish law. Part I of this article provides a brief introduction to Jewish law, including Jewish law perspectives on the meaning of death, personal autonomy, & the distinction between passive & active conduct. Part II examines particular Jewish law principles relevant to physician-assisted suicide […]

Sacrificial Immortality: Toward a Theory of Suicidal Terrorism and Related Phenomena (IN: The Psychoanalytic Study of Society, vol. 18, ed. by L B Boyer et al.)

This chapter outlines a theory of suicidal terrorism in the broad sense of the term, that is, including all manifestations of self- & other-directed aggression in the name of absolute truth (i.e., mass suicide, suicidal homicides, homicidal suicides, & passive-aggressive phenomena). The core of the author’s argument is that suicidal terrorism is a possible outcome […]

Jewish Affiliation in Relation to Suicide Rates

For commentary on this article, please see SIEC #2004-1074